Kiritsuke Knife. A Sexy Chef's Knife For Your Kitchen. Are they a Japanese Knife To Rule Them All?
First of all, the Japanese are incredibly concerned about the knives they use. This is because they are very concerned with the cuts. Therefore their knives tend to be very specialised.
Kiritsuke is a utility knife that is famous for its unique appearance, thanks to the angled tip. There are different sizes of these knives and it is safe to say that larger ones look like short swords. The Kiritsuke can fulfill a wide range of functions and is the favorite knife of many Japanese chefs and is generally considered to be very similar to a chef knife.
It may come first in comparisons, but in terms of popularity(or even notoriety), the Kiritsuke is a relatively unusual chef's knife. In Japanese culture, only professional chefs are allowed to use Kiritsuke but we think they should be available for the backyard BBQ enthusiast to the dinner party maestro all the way to the gourmet chef. They are just so dam sexy amnd why should they only be reserved for the pro chef.
What is a Kiritsuke knife good for?
The Kiritsuke knife is a versatile Japanese all-purpose chef's knife. It can be used to prepare ingredients for sushi, sashimi, and of course other dishes outside of Japanese cuisine. In our test kitchen we have used them to slice super thin slices of tomato, limes, beef, chicken and all sorts of other fruits, vegetables and proteins that are staples at backyard BBQ’s and in Western cooking.
The unique blade of the Kiritsuke whips ingredients through quickly and leaves clean cuts in vegetables with little effort.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Kiritsuke knife most commonly used for?
Kiritsuke knives are extremely versatile these days. They are often used as a chef's knife. In other words, they can be used on different types of meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Originally this knife was designed to cut fish, so this is its main purpose. A professional chef from Japan will only use this knife for cutting fish.
Does a Kiritsuke knife require more maintenance than other Japanese knives?
In general, Japanese knives require more care and maintenance than other knives. It's easy to tell why. Japanese knives are usually compact, thin, and extremely sharp. Therefore, due to the thinness, their tips are more likely to break. The blade is also more likely to splinter. In other words, you need to be more careful when using such a quality knife.
As a rule of thumb, most Japanese knives - including the Kiritsuke knife - are ideal for fine and delicate applications such as cutting fish, cutting fruit or vegetables. A Deba knife, due to it’s thick blade, is usually used for heavy duty applications like slicing pumpkins.
What is the optimal sharpening angle for a Kiritsuke knife?
Kiritsuke knives are often made from two types of steel - both hard and soft. As a direct consequence, they can achieve exquisite sharpness and need to be sharpened at a small angle. Most manufacturers give specific recommendations for sharpening angles, so always keep these details in mind.
Unless there are instructions, most Kiritsuke knives are sharpened at 30 degrees, which means you have to go at 15 degrees on each side. Getting to 32 or 34 degrees isn't going to cause too much trouble either.
Choosing the best Kiritsuke knife also takes a bit of education. Such knives are specialized and professional, which means you need to know exactly what you are going to use them for. Buy your best knife with your personal needs in mind and be sure to take good care of it.